Acts 27:22-26 “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of […]
Acts 27:22-26 “But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
I need to learn from Paul’s example here! He is a prisoner on a ship that is being helplessly tossed about in a storm with little chance, from a purely human perspective, of being delivered from a watery grave. But, in the midst of all this, the God, ‘whose I am and whom I serve’, gave him the assurance that he, and all the 275 people with him on the ship would be saved; and he was quite happy to share this promise openly with them all.
He was given no details of exactly how this ‘impossible’ promise was going to be fulfilled, or what other difficulties they might face in the process, but he was ABSOLUTELY SURE of the end result.
As I reflect on this I can’t help seeing that we – as those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus and therefore belonging to ‘the God whose we are and whom we serve’ – have HIS sure and certain promises that his sovereign purposes in our lives CANNOT, NOT EVER, be frustrated, regardless of what ‘storms’ we might have to go through on the way!
“Day by day and hour by hour, your love for me from heaven flows; like streams of water in the desert living waters flow. You walk beside me, gently guiding, leading me through every storm; everlasting, never changing, grace and love divine. … I am carried in the arms of grace and love divine; I am held by hands of healing, washed by water pure; lifting up my heavy heart, held in grace scarred hands, I am carried in the arms of grace and love divine.” (Geoff Bullock).
“Because HE lives, I can face tomorrow, because HE lives, all fear is gone; because I know HE holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because HE lives! (Bill Gaither).
The big challenge for an introvert like me in all this is: Am I prepared today to share God’s promises, OPENLY and whenever/wherever I can, with my fellow passengers in this stormed tossed, sinking ‘ship’ called Planet Earth?